Help identifying an Adana press?

Hello, hope you good people can help identify this Adana press.

I’m a complete letterpress novice, but do a bit of relief printmaking - lino, woodcut, that sort of thing. I was at a car boot sale and saw the press below, and bought it for £10. I know it’s a flatbed letterpress, but I’ll be able to use it for lino printing, and hopefully get some typefaces and learn how to letterpress too!

I’ve had a look at various Adana models online, and I can’t find anything that looks quite like this. Does anyone know what model it is, and roughly how old it is? There were some cut up newspapers in it, acting as padding - the earliest dates to 1947 so I guess it’s older than that?

Anyway, I love it! I’ve started cleaning the rust off, and I cut out the roller, it was disintegrating. I hope that once I know what model it is, I might be able to find a new roller to fit.

Thank you!

image: press 001.jpg

press 001.jpg

image: press 002.jpg

press 002.jpg

image: press 005.jpg

press 005.jpg

Log in to reply   9 replies so far

A nice find for ten quid! It’s indeed an early version of the Adana flatbed press. I’ll have a look at my documentation tomorrow and get back to you.

I’m not sure but I believe that style of Adana was called the Hand Quarto. The press you have is very similar to the one I have except yours only has one roller and does not have a rotating ink disc. I assume it, like mine, is mostly cast aluminum except for the cross piece that the handle engages for impression, and the wooden platen. The earlier models of the HQ were largely wood but otherwise very similar to yours. I really like mine, which I got for roughly ten times what you paid and felt it was a bargain! I printed a small book on it last year as well as a number of other items.


Thanks both of you, that’s really interesting. I’d seen pics of similar presses with ‘round things’ on them, but I’m so new to all this I didn’t know they were rotating ink discs! Oops.

I know I’m really lucky to have found this for a tenner - I seem to have the magic touch at car boot sales, I recently bought a spinning wheel for £20. Thank you for your help, looking forward to any more details people may have!

Earwig, by searching here on the site, you will be able to find the Adana manual, that I uploaded some time ago. It gives ample information on the flatbed press. If you can’t find it, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the complete PDF.

image: Picture 3.png

Picture 3.png

Thank you - just had a read and they’re great - really useful! The complete Adana manual is really good for a beginner - lots of useful terms for what’s what.

Thank you!

Sabrina Sundermann in Berlin has got an even older version, mainly in wood of the flatbed press.[email protected]/4188038860/in/set-721576217570...

Oooh, it’s pretty. I can see how people start collecting letterpresses! Any idea when mine might have been made? 1930s? 1940s?

You certainly look like you have found yourself a bargain.

Whilst it is difficult to be accurate about the age, my guess is that your Adana Flatbed Quarto machine was probably made circa 1927 to 1935. We do have one exactly the same in our workshop!

The later models were made in aluminium and the more recent models had two rollers and a revolving ink disc plate to help even out the ink distribution.

We currently stock pairs of rollers for these later models but do not often get asked for the single ink roller. However, if you could send us your roller shaft and the steel runners we would be able to reclothe the stock with our new High Definition Rubber, similar to that which we fit on all our refurbished machines. It would then work perfectly!

Thanks Roy! I’ll be in touch in the new year, as per my email.

Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it. I have just designed this year’s Christmas card design (linocut) so I’ll put her to the test printing that, and hopefully get her working as a letterpress again in the new year!